A painting of Hank Williams by artist Jon Langford.
In just four short years of fame, Hank Williams wrote nearly 130 songs. Many are now deemed classics, and Williams is considered the father of modern country music. He was only 29 when he died of heart failure in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 1953, while being driven to a concert date in Dayton, Ohio.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Bob Edwards looks at Williams' musical legacy.
The official Hank Williams Web site lists the young star's many chart-toppers, including 11 that hit #1 on the country music charts. Some of the titles have become country classics — "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey, Good-Looking," "Cold, Cold Heart." But perhaps most poignant is the song that was #1 on the country charts the day Williams died — a tune entitled "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive."